April 19th, 2023

Mass Casualty anniversary is a time for remembrance and action

HALIFAX – As Nova Scotians across the province pause to remember and reflect on the mass casualty in Portapique and surrounding communities we must also commit to and ensure the recommendations of the Mass Casualty Commission Report are implemented.

“Today, our hearts are with the families of the 22 people killed and all those directly impacted by the events that shook our province three years ago today,” said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “All Nova Scotians carry the memory of that terrible day. Nova Scotians came together in the aftermath and continue to work together as we move forward with efforts to ensure something like this never happens again.”

The commission’s final report lists 130 recommendations to improve mental health support, review law enforcement systems, and prevent intimate partner violence.

“We have a very serious situation in our province and more needs to be done to ensure the communities directly impacted by the events of April 18 and 19, 2020 have mental health support, when and where they need it,” said Lisa Lachance, Mental Health and Addictions spokesperson. “The Commission has called for mental health specialists to help with mental health emergencies. The NDP has proposed that emergency mental health teams be set up across the province to respond to mental health emergencies with mental health professionals. Police are often required to respond to mental health emergencies and have said they are not suited or trained to respond to mental health crises.”

The first deadline for the recommendations is set for May 1, 2023, when the Commission called on the provincial and federal government to ensure proper levels of mental health support are available to the directly impacted communities.